On Kid’s Own Publishing

So I’ve been a bit quiet recently, but I promise you, I have been doing some very bookish things!

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The last two weeks I’ve been working for the Come Out Festival, a South Australian festival that is just for children. My role was a project coordinator/tour manager for ‘Kid’s Own Publishing’, a company that runs workshops that teaches children to make, write, and illustrate their own books, and then ‘publishes’ them. (In this case, the book is published using a colour photocopier, but the right intention is there).

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For two weeks I have been taking these workshops to regional libraries across South Australia, as well as libraries within Adelaide. I’ve travelled from Port Pirie to Kingston, Yorketown to Bordertown, Tea Tree Gully to Victor Harbor. I’ve worked with approximately 500 kids, from four year olds to twelve year olds, and let me tell you, they all have exciting ideas about what should go into their own book. Most kids need no prompting as to what to write a book about. I’ve seen books about unicorns, magic forests, scary forests, dragons, monsters, dinosaurs, chickens, minecraft (a computer game… don’t worry I didn’t know what it was either until two weeks ago), dogs, cats, birds, happy people, lonely people, people making friends, people fulfilling their dreams. There is something quite astonishing about a book written by a seven year old or a nine year old – their stories may only be one hundred words, but most kids seem to understand the basic building blocks of a story (character, setting, a problem, beginning, middle, end) and create simple but lovely stories.

Class of year 3 & 4s in Port Pirie Community Library with their published books

Class of year 2s in Port Pirie Community Library with their published books

 

Year 5 Kids at the Yorketown School Community Library with their published books

Year 4 & 5 Kids at the Yorketown School Community Library with their published books

What have i learnt about what children want to read about, based on what they write about? Children’s stories don’t have to have happy ending. Lots of the kid’s own stories ended with people dying, sometimes tragically, sometimes comically. Also, friendship is very important to children. I can’t tell you the number of books that involved a character being lonely at the beginning, and ending up with a friend.

You can have a look at what Kid’s Own Publishing is all about here.

Andrew Joyner, my travel companion and illustrator of 'The Terrible Plop', shows students how to use collage to dress an elephant

Andrew Joyner, my travel companion and illustrator of ‘The Terrible Plop’, shows students how to use collage to dress an elephant

 

Student in Port Pirie proudly reading her book 'The Little Boy and the Unicorn' to her classmates

Student in Port Pirie proudly reading her book ‘The Little Boy and the Unicorn’ to her classmates

Author HJ Harper, Briony Barr from Kids Own Publishing and Myself with our travelling 'Book Cubby', full of books by children for children

Author HJ Harper, Briony Barr from Kids Own Publishing and Myself with our travelling ‘Book Cubby’, full of books by children for children

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Finished Books on display in the Kids Own Publishing Book Cubby at Salisbury Library

Finished Books on display in the Kids Own Publishing Book Cubby at Salisbury Library

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4 comments

  1. Those books look fantastic!

  2. What a wonderful collection of books. They look fabulous!

  3. What a fantastic thing to be doing! We do bookmaking sometimes at our library and at school. Nothing quite so elaborate tho. It’s always fun to see the little books that kids come up with!

  4. Pingback: On painting landscapes in your head | 1001 Children's Books

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